Chaffins 9 Oct ’64

I recd dear Mary your letter of the 5th. I pray before the return of another birthday that God in his great mercy may have restored you to health & granted us peace from our sins, peace with ourselves & peace with our enemies. I feel sensibly the kindness shewn to you by the good & kind family with whom you are. You must give them my sincere thanks & affectionate regards. The goodness of God has been shewn us through all the course of our lives, & though afflictions have befallen us yet how sparingly have they been inflicted in comparison with his blessings. I join heartily in your prayer that we may suffer every thing rather than depart from him! I think you should feel encouraged to leave every thing in his hands. “O tarry thou the Lords leisure; be strong & he shall comfort thine heart; and put thy trust in the Lord.”[1] You must not be Cast down by reverses. They must Come, to shew us our weakness, our dependence & to call forth renewed exertion. The enemy is very numerous & still increasing & is able by his superiority of numbers to move at pleasure. Still I trust he may not be permitted to have every thing his own way & that his Course will at last have an end. A sudden change has occurred in the weather. Last night was very Cold & it Continues this morg. I fear you will suffer travelling at night in such weather. You will find the house almost vacant. I think Shirley is the only one present. Custis & Major Cox are down here & Capt Leigh & Sweet Annie are next door I am told, in Mrs Randolph’s house. I wish I had some safe & quiet place to which you Could retire. Richmond will be the scene of great excitement, & probably of danger & distress. I think if there is any place near where you are in which you Can remain, you had better do so. I have just had a visit from Mr Collins. He says the people at the White House & Romankoke are well. Old John at the former & Seneca at the latter died this year. The enemy when they visited WestPoint in the summer, drove off their Cows &c & took their meat, still they have enough. Mr Moore was pillaged also, but from his account all have done & are doing better than I Could have expected. They carried off Fleming & kept him about a fortnight when he escaped. He made two trips to Washington & they tried to get him to join the army, offered him bounty &c. He refused. He learned that one of the young men from R. had joined the army & lost his leg. Edmund, Flemings son who had gone off with his Grd mother had died, & about half of the others since they left their homes. I hope the rest will do well. Tell Agnes & Mildred I enjoyed their letters very much, but have not yet had time to reply. I will when I can. Give much love to my dear daughters, & kindest regards to Dr Mrs Cocke & all the family.

Very truly & affy yours

R E Lee

Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L 51 c 547, Section 28, Virginia Museum of History and Culture, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward 2022 June 30


[1] Psalms 27:14.